chapter  2
22 Pages

The end of linear narrative? Reflections on the historiography of English

ByROGER LASS

This is a somewhat paradoxical chapter from one who has spent the past three decades as a self-characterised ‘historian of English’, much of whose work has been fairly traditional narrative history (e.g. Lass 1992a, 1999a) or reflections on its construction (Lass 1997a). The genre recalls that of the ‘retraction’ at the end of the Canterbury Tales: it is to be taken with precisely that mixture of total seriousness and ambivalence appropriate to Chaucer.